GPH Employees Celebrate Original Article Being Published

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January 30, 2018

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Two Grand Pacific Health staff members are being recognised this week after their article, 'Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: The stories of frequent attenders to the Emergency Department,' has featured in the latest Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Karin Robinson RN, BN, MNurs and Elizabeth Lucas RN, MSc, conducted the research in collaboration with Elizabeth Halcomb RN, BN (Hons), PhD, from the University of Wollongong and with the support of Paul van den Dolder MPhty, PhD, from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).

Karin Robinson, who is a Chronic Care Facilitator for Grand Pacific Health’s Connecting Care Program (supporting people with chronic disease since 2010 and funded by the ISLHD) and one of the Lead Principal Researchers in this study, says she began the process of conducting research and interviews for the article in 2016:

“We recognised that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are amongst the most frequent attenders in the Emergency Department (ED).”

“Despite the chronic nature of their condition, there has been limited investigation into the issues faced by COPD patients and their carers.”

“The stories that they shared with us throughout our study highlight the complexity of living with this disease and offer some insight into how patients could be better managed to decrease the number of avoidable ED visits,” added Karin.

Five main themes emerged from the data, namely (i) a sense of grief, loss and guilt, yet hope for the future; (ii) the impact on carers; (iii) the end point of self-management; (iv) the healthcare experience; and (v) the primary care experience.

“It was fantastic to have such a great working relationship between the University, ISLHD and Grand Pacific Health to get a good look at the whole picture,” said Karin.

“We hope these findings can lead to changes in the way people with COPD are managed in the Primary Health care system,” added Karin.

The article abstract is available on the UOW Publications site at: University of Wollongong Publications

For media opportunities please contact Karin Robinson on 0434 744 724 or email:

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